On this July 4th holiday, Americans aren’t feeling quite so financially independent on Independence Day 2022. The cost of a cookout for your family and friend group of 10 rose over $10 this year, 17% higher than in 2021, based on the American Farm Bureau Federation’s annual assessment of BBQing Economics on the Fourth of July.
This estimate is based on a market-basket menu that includes cheeseburgers, pork chops, chicken breasts, homemade potato salad, strawberries and ice cream.
Key factors driving up the cost of an All-American cookout include supply chain disruptions (a hangover from the COVID-19 pandemic and consumer demand outstripping supply in many categories, as well as inflation and the War in Ukraine.
To understand the details of 2022 BBQ inflation by mains and sides, the second chart details the per-ingredient cost inflation: retail prices rose,
- 36% for 2 pounds of ground beef, now $11.12
- 33% up for 2 pounds of boneless, skinless chicken breasts, $8.99
- 31% rise for 3 pounds of center cut pork chops, $15.26
- 22% up for 2.5 quarts of fresh squeezed lemonade, now $4.43
- 19% rise for 2.5 pounds of homemade potato salad, $3.27
- 16% higher for an 8-pack of hamburger buns, $1.93
- Up 10% for a half-gallon of vanilla ice cream, $5.16
- 7% rise for a 13-ounce bag of chocolate chip cookies, $4.31.
Some good news with deflation for a few key foodstuffs: Strawberry prices are down by 16%, with 2 pints priced at $4.44, sliced cheese for those burgers down 13% (now $3.53 in this study), and a 16-ounce bag of potato chips down 4% to $4.71.
AFBF Chief Economist Roger Cryan commented, “Despite higher food prices, the supply chain disruptions and inflation have made farm supplies more expensive,” costs of which are passed on from farmer and food producer to consumer.
Health Populi’s Hot Points: While grilling will be the most prevalent activity for Independence Day, 64% of Americans plan to spend less than $100 on the day, a study from Numerator found.
The economic poll among U.S. consumers by CBS News/YouGov conducted June 22-24 2022 found that most Americans are concerned about their ability to afford summer spending for daily household goods, vacations and travel, and big ticket items.
Three in four people in the U.S. are also concerned they’ll be able to save money in the current economic environment.
Trying to help out consumers in managing cookout costs, the bank Wells Fargo offered their own view on July 4th cookout economics.
One tasty recommendation that would go over well in Chez S-Kahn will be to switch out burgers-and-pork for shrimp tacos, because shrimp prices are at their five-year average cost. “Shrimp is a relative bargain compared to other proteins, specific to price increases,” Wells calculated. “The current average retail prices for raw shrimp are only up 8.2% from July 2021, which is a relative bargain.”
And don’t forget to toast to our current blessings and future good news. Wells recommends that we “wine, don’t whine,” recognizing a 5.8% increase in average wine prices this year which feels modest compared with other food/beverage inflation stats. “The spectrum of varieties, brands, and innovation packaging underscores the opportunity to pair affordable wine with summer meals, and to have some fun discovering new products,” Wells recommends.
Beyond the fun and eating, it’s a perfect time to reflect on our citizenship and health citizenship. That embodies both rights and responsibilities: health care as a right for all people, and rights to our personal data (beyond “medical” including all facets of personal information); and, responsibilities, to build trust and connections with our fellow health citizens and institutions, and love one another in community toward public health and well-being.
On this July 4th, we wish all, in the U.S. and in every nation, abundant health across all dimensions!